The Highways Agency has published plans for a major road scheme to upgrade the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
The £1.5bn scheme will provide much-needed capacity on the 22-mile route, including a new 12-mile bypass around Huntingdon. Work is due to get underway in late 2016 (subject to statutory processes and continued value for money), with completion expected in 2019/20.
A public consultation will run from Monday 9 September to Sunday 13 October, with public exhibitions planned in the Cambridge and Huntingdon area from Tuesday 17 September.
The consultation is seeking feedback on the choice of route, junction and access arrangements, the other route options that were considered, as well as the proposed tolling of the bypass around Huntington and the way in which the tolling system could work.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “We need a long-term resolution, that will tackle the congestion and journey time reliability issues, and subject to the outcome of the consultation, we believe this is it. It’s the best option for people living locally, and for the businesses that see it as a gateway to international markets via the ports on the East coast. It will provide better journeys for long-distance and local traffic, putting the right vehicles on the right roads.”
The A14 links the Midlands to the Haven Ports on the east coast, with nearly 85,000 vehicles per day using some sections of the route in Cambridgeshire. Once delivered, road users will benefit from less congestion and more reliable journey times.
The proposed solution for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme includes:
– A new Huntingdon Southern Bypass, with junctions at Ellington, at Brampton (where the A14 would meet the A1), at Godmanchester, and on the existing A14 at Swavesey. Proposals under consideration include this section of bypass being tolled.
– The A14 through Huntingdon would be de-trunked. The A14 viaduct over the mainline railway in Huntingdon would be demolished, enabling the existing A14 to be tied into local roads, greatly improving traffic flows in the town and accessing sites for possible new development.
– The A14 will be widened from Swavesey to Milton (the section between Girton Interchange and Histon will be widened earlier as part of a separate improvement scheme. Work is due to start in early 2014).
– A new single carriageway access road will be built alongside the improved A14 between Fen Drayton and Girton and is intended for local use.
– Girton and Milton junctions will be upgraded to improve traffic flow and to add more capacity, with improvements to other junctions along the route.
– Two new junctions will be constructed at Bar Hill and Swavesey to maintain existing access to the trunk road and to connect with the new local road network
– The A1 will be widened between Brampton and Alconbury in order to provide the additional capacity needed to cope with traffic linking to the A1 from the new Huntingdon Southern Bypass.
Chris Taylor, major projects (south) divisional director for the Highways Agency, said: “We have worked hard to pull together the best elements of the options looked at by the Department for Transport as part of the A14 study. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, we believe we have come up with the right solution, one that meets the needs of the road user, businesses, and local communities, while being affordable. Many will recognise aspects of the scheme, but there are new elements to the proposal too.”